My First Vegan (and Married!!!!) Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week is upon us! Hurrah!

As you all know from my previous posts, my husband (yay!) Steve and I are hosting our very first Vegan Thanksgiving. In the nearly seven years we've been a couple, we have never celebrated Thanksgiving together, so I consider this event very special indeed. Both Steve and my families will be in attendance, and they have all been so supportive of our want to keep everything vegan - proof that we married into the right families!

Steve and I have decided to use this Thanksgiving as a way of thanking our families for all of their help, love, and encouragement during the wedding. We happen to have two of the best families out there, and we want to create a truly memorable holiday meal for them to enjoy.

In honor of Thanksgiving and our wedding, Steve and I also did something I highly recommend to everyone else this holiday - we both adopted a turkey through Farm Sanctuary's Adopt a Turkey Project. For a one-time donation of $25, you can sponsor a factory-farmed turkey that has been rescued by Farm Sanctuary. I chose Mello, a sweet-looking bird whose name and picture I immediately fell in love with. Steve was torn between all of the birds, but he settled on Rhonda - who definitely could be Mello's soulmate just by looking at her picture.

Rhonda's on the left, Mello's on the right. Aren't they adorable? 

Last night was the first of several evenings perfecting a few recipes I've found on the internet and in cookbooks. I tried a vegan roast recipe I found online, which ended up being on the "error" side of "trial and error", I'll just say. I did find a great stuffing recipe that I've decided to adapt and use for the big night.  Joanna Vaught has a great post about her Thanksgiving recipes where she notes that people shouldn't try to make all new dishes for the holiday, but rather pair a few new ones along with classic hits. I've decided to make most of our menu a list of our favorite Thanksgiving foods, along with a few dishes we know and love.  One new recipe I'll be trying out tonight is a Vegan Meatloaf recipe I just found online - you can find it here. If all goes well, I will definitely add it to the menu (and I'll probably cook some carrots and green beans in the same dish to get the vegetable quota for the holiday). As for everything else, below you will find our Thanksgiving Menu (subject to change, of course):

~ Lindsay and Steve's First VEGAN Thanksgiving Menu ~
(for specific recipes, click on the menu item unless otherwise noted)

Country Fried Cutlets 
(recipe courtesy of Bryanna Clark Grogan),

served along with:
Country Style Gravy:
I take Bryanna's marinade, place it in a small pot on medium heat, and I add a few tablespoons of Earth Balance Margarine and stir occasionally. Once the margarine dissolves, I mix a few tablespoons of flour and water together to make a paste, and I add that to the marinade (you can also use cornstarch). I stir it slowly until it reaches a thickness level I like. Add more flour/water paste if you want it thicker.

Stuffed Shells in a White Cream Sauce
(courtesy of Skinny Bitch in the Kitch)

Traditional Stuffing
(I recommend doubling or tripling this recipe if you have a lot of people coming)
1 package of your favorite vegan bread
2 c. onion, chopped well
2 c. celery, chopped well
3 tbsp Earth Balance Margarine
4 servings EnerG Egg Replacer
(mixed with water according to directions on the package)
3 tbsp. Poultry Seasoning
2-3 c. Really good Vegetable Broth or Stock
More Poultry Seasoning to taste
Salt to taste

Place margarine in a medium-sized pan on medium heat. Once it melts, add onions, celery, poultry seasoning, and salt. Stir occasionally and cook for 5-7 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, rip up bread into small chunks and place in a casserole dish. Once vegetables are done cooking, pour them onto bread and mix well. Slowly pour egg replacer over everything, and mix well. Add enough broth to moisten the mixture. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes, or until the top of the stuffing has browned nicely.

Remember - taste your mixture before putting it in the oven to make sure it has enough Poultry Seasoning.

Vegan Sausage and Apple Stuffing 
Based on the same recipe as the Traditional Stuffing, but added to the mix will be sliced apples and crumbled, browned Gimme Lean sausage. To make the sausage crumbles, just add some oil to a pan, heat to medium, and crumble Gimme Lean into pan and cook until nicely browned. Add whatever spices you want to add extra flavor.

(Steve's mom will also be making a Sweet Potato Casserole)

Organic Cranberry Sauce
(canned - because it's a Wolf Family Tradition!)

Bryanna's Vegan Pumpkin Pie
(can be found on her website)

Tal Ronnen's Roasted Banana Rum Cheesecake
(can be found in his cookbook, The Conscious Cook)

Well, that's what I have for now! Feel free to share any recipe ideas you're thinking of making, and thanks for reading! Happy week of Thanksgiving everyone! Remember - this day is about love and gratitude above all else, so enjoy spending time with the people you love this week!

“Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. We should just be thankful for being together.”
–Marci, from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving


Lindsay said…
With the stuffing, one thing to note: if you find that your stuffing is starting to get dry in the oven, add a little more broth.
Eileen W. said…
Happy Thanksgiving!!! I love that you adopted a turkey couple- so romantic!!
Sounds like a great menu!! I like reading your blog, and my current girlfriend is vegan. While I am still on the pescatarian side, last night, my close friend had two "famous" raw food vegan speakers and promoters over at her house, and Jody made a raw food-vegan spread... OMG! I don't think I ever want to go back. As I learn the basics, I think that is how I will eat from now on. Keep up the awesomeness! And you two have a blessed and beautiful First Thanksgiving!!
Myra Wolf said…
you forgot to add the mulled cider...with organic apple juicy..:)and vegan alcoholic sips of things.

If you sip a drink with vegan lips does that make the drink part vegan?
love you...for-eva, see you tonight! It might take us hours to get thru holiday homeward bound traffic...but I will be there!! xo
Lindsay-Thanks for your good work. I got a chuckle out of your blog's name - I have always thought that The Lysistrata strategy would work well to convert a few carnivores.
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